About Fitness To Drive
Therapeutic Expertise delivered with Compassion and Respect
Meet our Team
We have a fantastic team of caring occupational therapists and physical therapists who remember that you are at the heart of all we do. With an average of over 15 years of experience each, our employees all have specialty certifications and extensive driver training beyond what is required for their national licensure.
Terri Cassidy, OTD, OTR/L, CDRS
Kathryn Seibert, OTR/L, CDRS
Gabrielle Watkins, OTR/L, DRS
Tammi Gallegos, MS, OTR/L, CDRS
Amanda Olson, OTR/L, CDRS
Heather Ackart, MS, OTR/L, CDRS
Client Care Team
Kate Pettey, Office Manager
Mariah Yourkowski, Client Care Coordinator
We believe that Well-Being is influenced by self-care, continued personal growth, purpose in daily activities, and connection with others.
Fitness To Drive provides occupational therapy for driver safety. Our therapists are licensed occupational therapists with specialty certification in Driver Rehabilitation. We work with youth over 14 and adults of all ages to optimize their safety and mobility. Our mission is to empower you and your family with the information and tools to take positive actions toward your health and well-being.
Dr. Terri Cassidy started Health Promotion Partners in 2018 in response to a need in the community. Many hospital-based programs for driver rehabilitation had closed across the state, and families were left to make decisions about driving without comprehensive medical and performance-based assessments. Terri’s vision was to create a program where she could offer excellence in driver rehabilitation and expand the scope of services to work with drivers of all ages. The foundation of this vision is the belief that we can influence health throughout the lifespan by helping clients select and engage in meaningful life activities.
Success stories of occupational therapy and driver training
The intersection of occupational therapy and driver training has led to numerous success stories, empowering individuals to achieve their driving goals and regain their independence. These success stories highlight the transformative impact of this collaborative approach in enabling individuals with disabilities to hit the road safely.
One such success story involves a young woman with a spinal cord injury. Through occupational therapy and driver training, she learned to operate a modified vehicle using hand controls. With determination and support, she successfully obtained her driver's license and now enjoys the freedom to drive independently.
We combine the power of occupational therapy and driver training to transform lives and promote inclusive mobility for all individuals.
The Intersection of Occupational Therapists and Driver Training: Empowering Individuals to Hit the Road Safely
In today's fast-paced world, having the ability to drive is often seen as a symbol of independence and freedom. However, getting behind the wheel can be daunting for individuals with physical, cognitive, or sensory impairments. This is where occupational therapy and driver training intersect, empowering individuals to hit the road safely and confidently.
Occupational therapy focuses on improving daily life skills and plays a crucial role in assessing an individual's ability to drive. Working closely with clients, occupational therapists identify limitations or challenges that may impact their driving performance. They then develop personalized interventions to address these issues, helping individuals regain or enhance their driving skills.
Driver training, on the other hand, provides the practical knowledge and techniques necessary for safe and responsible driving. Through classroom instruction, behind-the-wheel practice, and even a driver simulation console, certified driver rehabilitation specialists guide individuals through learning or relearning how to drive.
Combining occupational therapists and driver training creates a comprehensive approach to helping individuals with disabilities achieve their driving goals. Whether it's adapting vehicles, teaching compensatory strategies, or improving physical abilities, this collaborative effort is key to ensuring safer and more inclusive roads for everyone.
Addressing physical limitations in driver training
Physical limitations can significantly impact an individual's ability to operate a vehicle safely. Occupational therapists work closely with individuals to address these limitations and develop strategies to improve their physical abilities for driving.
In driver training, therapists focus on exercises and activities that target strengthening and improving the range of motion in the upper and lower extremities. They may also recommend specialized equipment or adaptations to assist individuals with physical disabilities, such as hand controls, pedal extensions, or steering wheel knobs.
Through therapeutic exercises, adaptive equipment, and practice on driving simulators, occupational therapists help individuals with physical limitations build the strength, endurance, and coordination required for safe driving.
Addressing visual limitations in driver training
Visual limitations, such as reduced visual acuity or visual field deficits, can significantly impact an individual's ability to drive safely. Occupational therapists play a vital role in assessing and addressing these visual limitations to ensure safe driving practices.
Therapists work closely with individuals to evaluate their visual abilities through specialized tests and assessments. They may recommend visual aids, such as bioptic telescopes or specialized lenses, to improve visual acuity or compensate for visual field deficits.
In driver training, occupational therapists focus on improving scanning techniques, visual tracking, and peripheral awareness. They teach individuals how to use their vision effectively while driving, ensuring that they can detect hazards, read road signs, and maintain situational awareness on the road.
Addressing cognitive limitations in driver training
Cognitive limitations, such as memory deficits, attention difficulties, or impaired decision-making skills, can pose significant challenges to safe driving. Occupational therapists specialize in assessing and addressing these cognitive limitations in the context of driver training.
Therapists use various techniques and strategies to help individuals with cognitive impairments develop compensatory skills and strategies. These may include memory aids, visual cues, and practice in real-life driving situations to enhance decision-making abilities.
Additionally, occupational therapists may collaborate with other healthcare professionals, such as neuropsychologists or speech therapists, to provide a comprehensive approach to address cognitive limitations in driver training.
Addressing psychological limitations in driver training
Psychological limitations, such as anxiety or fear related to driving, can significantly impact an individual's ability to get behind the wheel. Occupational therapists are skilled in addressing these psychological limitations and providing the necessary support to help individuals overcome their fears and anxieties.
Therapists use various techniques, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy or exposure therapy, to help individuals manage their emotions and build confidence in their driving abilities. They create a safe and supportive environment where individuals can gradually face their fears and develop coping strategies to handle stressful driving situations.
By addressing psychological limitations in driver training, occupational therapists empower individuals to regain their independence and freedom on the road.